Skip to comments.Thousands in NYC Protest Immigration Bill
Posted on 04/01/2006 4:04:11 PM PST by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK - Thousands of immigrants formed a line stretching more than a mile long Saturday as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, waving flags from more than a dozen countries as they demonstrated against possible immigration reform in Congress.
Heralded by a cacophony of trumpets, whistles and drums, the crowd of mostly Latin Americans gathered in downtown Brooklyn and trudged a path laden with symbols of the city's immigrant strength on their way to a plaza in lower Manhattan.
The marchers mustered in a neighborhood settled by the Dutch, crossed a bridge designed by a German, and finished in a square at the edge of Chinatown in an area that once held the Irish slums glamorized in the 2002 film "Gangs of New York."
On the way, they passed the Statue of Liberty, hot dog carts run by Middle Easterners, taxis driven by Russians and police officers speaking Chinese.
More than 10,000 people flooded Foley Square, turning it into a sea of colorful banners and echoing noise. The crowd came dressed in the colors of Mexico, Uruguay and Ecuador, but just as many draped themselves in red, white and blue.
"If you hurt immigrants you are hurting America," read a sign held by one marcher. "We are your economy," said another.
Another marcher, a woman from Mexico who spoke no English, carried a sign reading, "I cleaned up ground zero."
There were demonstrations across the country this week against legislation already approved in the House, which would make it a felony to be in the U.S. without the proper immigration paperwork.
Competing legislation under consideration in the Senate would take an opposite approach and give the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. a chance at citizenship.
"We came to say that we're here," said George Criollo, who arrived in New York a decade ago from Cuenca, Ecuador. "We have to speak, legal or illegal. We have to speak about this issue."
Criollo, who said his family was in the United States illegally, feared that legislation could lead to his deportation or jailing. In the House, legislation already has passed that would set penalties for anyone who knowingly assists or encourages illegal immigrants to remain in the country.
In Costa Mesa, Calif., about 500 people protested the crackdown on illegal immigrants.
"Aiding my kids should not be a crime," said Dagoberto Zavala, 52, who immigrated from El Salvador to the Santa Ana area, and said he brought his two children into the United States illegally. "Congress needs to know the laws we have don't work."
Last year, the Costa Mesa City Council approved a policy that would give local police in certain cases the authority to enforce federal immigration law. The plan is not likely to take effect for at least several months, as federal officials decide whether to accept the city's proposal. If put into effect, it would make Costa Mesa the first city in the nation to train its police in federal immigration enforcement.
Tiburcio Maldonado, 53, of Inglewood, Calif., holds an American flag during a demonstration to show opposition to proposed bill HR4437, legislation toughening the United States' stance on illegal immigration, in Costa Mesa, Calif., Saturday April 1, 2006. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson)
Protesters march during the The Great Walk In Solidarity With Immigrants Saturday April 1, 2006, in New York. Thousands of immigrants formed a line stretching more than a mile long Saturday as they marched across the Brooklyn Bridge, waving flags from more than a dozen countries as they demonstrated against possible immigration reform in Congress. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A man waves a Mexican flag over the crowd during a rally at 'The Great Walk In Solidarity With Immigrants' in New York April 1, 2006. This march is one of many around the United States in recent weeks calling for rights and amnesty for immigrants. REUTERS/Seth Wenig
Tontos de Abril.
They're showing a little more PR savvy this time.
What is the AP trying to accomplish by including this? These people are not the hard-working, wholesome immigrants of yesteryear who patiently went through Ellis Island and settled down throughout the country and made this country what (well, what it used to be) it is today.
Seriously, after the borders are enforced and immigration laws reformed, there should be quotas from accepting new immigrants from Latin America.
And Jesse Jackson got a few hundred to march in New Orleans.
Illegal Irish in the NYC pubs and working as nannies. Illegal Chinese in the restaurants. Eastern Europeans here for decades. Every country on earth is represented here by illegals.
It's not just the hispanics who seem to have brought the wrath of G-D down on themselves.
This is about too much.
And the real agenda bubbles from the bottom.
Good grief these people are stupid. You want to win people over to your side this is not the way to do it.
Are there any other countries in the World that allow people to illegally enter and work?
Earlier in the week I got this strange bilingual text message on my cell phone teeling me to call the Arizona senator and tell him to vote against HR4437. Even had Kyle's phone number. I noticed that the number from which the text message was sent originated in Mexico!
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